The national media has its sights set on Ken Blackwell. The former Ohio Secretary of State is on President Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. This has made him the target of a bit of a smear campaign fueled by misinformation.
The Voter Integrity Commission is simply asking for information thats already public record
to ensure that no legitimate vote is canceled out by an illegitimate one. A single invalid vote in each district can change entire election outcomes – and the course of history.
The LA Times and other outlets have accused Blackwell of unethically publishing social security numbers on the Secretary of State’s website as if it was leaked information.They are using false headlines from 2006 while Blackwell was engaged in a gubernatorial primary with Jim Petro. Nothing was leaked although that is how they are framing it to tarnish Blackwell.
They say that Blackwell can’t be trusted because of this. But, what they are failing to understand was that this wasn’t an issue from Blackwell. This information mostly came from banks and lawyers. At the time, state law didn’t address the specific situation of redacting this information. The issues of the law highlight the fact that this wasn’t a “leak” as the media is portraying it.
The state’s only role in handling these bank documents was to post them within 3 days. State law was ambiguous about removing information on these forms. Blackwell then worked with the legislature to amend the law to allow for the redaction of this information.
“Blackwell acted correctly after initial resistance to removing the numbers, said Christian Jenkins, an attorney representing truck driver Darrel Estep. “What we’ve seen here is a 180-degree about-face and a decision to do the right thing,” Jenkins said. “I see that as a very good result in a very short time.”
This is what happens with the media recycles poorly placed news from over a decade ago. They are using highly biased Ohio articles to hit the Trump Administration. It’s cyclical. Ohio’s bad political writing from 11 years ago appears to be in a time warp and has been recycled for 2017.
Other media sources are trying to portray Blackwell as a vote suppressor because of a paperweight rule from his successor, Bob Taft. This dates back to 2004 when Ohio required that voter registrations needed to be on 80 lb paper.
The recommendation for this came from the United States Postal Service because people were cutting registration cards out of newspaper or regular paper and simply mailing them in. This type of paper was not made to endure USPS equipment.
The paperweight rule was backed by Taft's Director of Elections Pat Wolfe. She is not partisan, and also worked for @JenniferBrunner.
There were no call of outrage form the left about this rule when Taft was Secretary of State, but they simply used it as a wedge to attempt to smear Blackwell in his gubernatorial run. Now, uninformed and biased journalists are regurgitated this 13 years later to attack President Trump.
The prominent 2nd amendment group Ohioans for Concealed Carry have announced their endorsement of Jon Husted for Governor. Ohioans for Concealed Carry is a grassroots political advocacy group whose original goal was passing concealed carry in Ohio, and has since worked to expand carry rights. Recently in late April an appeals court sided with the group in a case against the city of Cleveland; Ohioans for Concealed Carry sued the city claiming their gun regulations ran afoul of state law. The group has challenged the City and won other prior cases as well.
This endorsement of Husted in the crowded GOP field for Governor is a big win for Husted. Of the four known candidates: Husted, DeWine, Taylor, and Renacci, all but DeWine have high ratings with 2nd amendment groups like the NRA and Buckeye Firearms. Husted’s obtaining this endorsement helps boost his conservative credentials in a primary battle that could be won by a slim margin if all four contenders stay in the race until next May.
Gravis Marketing has published a new poll and it contains bad news for Governor John Kasich. It appears that his approval rating has taken a huge hit as a result of his weeks-long 2020 presidential campaign book tour out of state, combined with his insufferable preaching about how he was the only reasonable alternative to Trump.
Kasich is now a part-time governor, flying all over the country to do interviews about his book and telling an adoring media how he is the only reasonable Republican left. In fact, he is literally “phoning it in”.
From Darrell Rowland: “These phones do work all the way back to Ohio,” Kasich told The Dispatch in — yes — a phone interview on his way to a CNN appearance Monday in New York City. He noted his next call was with his budget director, Tim Keen.
His enormous ego is now on full display. From the same Dispatch interview, Kasich said,
“I think I helped Ohio when I ran for president. People are proud of Ohio. They learned a lot about Ohio,” Kasich said. “The message that I have I think is a very good message and a very positive message for the country,” he said. “And I don’t think it should be just confined to the state of Ohio.”
Reminiscent of Barack Obama, there are a lot of Is in that statement. The governor wants us to believe that he doesn’t need to be in Ohio doing his job, because getting his message out to the country is more important. The country needs John Kasich so bad, you see. Never mind that he had a chance to do that for months during his presidential campaign. People didn’t want to hear it then, so why would they want to hear it now?
More narcissistic is his assertion that people are now proud of Ohio because of him.
Other tidbits in the poll are that Josh Mandel has a slight lead, 45/42 over Senator Sherrod Brown, whereas Congressman Pat Tiberi is slightly behind Brown at 41/43.
Attorney General Mike Dewine is leading the pack of candidates in the primary to succeed Kasich. DeWine registers at 31% with Secretary of State Jon Husted at 14%, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor at 10% and Congressman Jim Renacci at 6%. 40% are uncertain.
Even more wide open is the Democratic primary. Connie Pillich, Joe Schiavoni and Betty Sutton are all declared candidates, but they are all bunched around 10% with 2/3 of Dem voters undecided. There is also speculation that Rich Cordray will enter the race.
Ohio Right to Life’s legislative agenda has the possibility to make huge strides for the pro-life movement. The newest bill, Ohio Senate Bill 145 has the potential to save thousands of lives and completely change the narrative on abortion.
This bill seeks to ban dismemberment abortions (otherwise known as “dilation and evacuation” or “D&E” abortions) in Ohio. That will put abortion proponents on their heels by having to justify ripping a child apart limb by limb. This brutal practice accounts for 95% of second trimester abortions. To put this in perspective, 3000 of the abortions performed in 2015 in Ohio were dilation and evacuation abortions. So, this bill could save thousands of lives annually.
The pro-abortion crowd has sought to dehumanize the child in an attempt to justify ending its life. But, their tired argument about a baby just being a clump of cells no longer holds water. The prevalence of ultrasounds like the one in the video below, put that argument to rest long ago. This bill will now force them to explain why they feel it is ethical and responsible to dismember a living child.
These children deserve humane treatment because they are indeed humans. Their heartbeats and bodies prove exactly that. How is it possible to justify ripping a child’s limps off? That is the fight that NARAL and Planned Parenthood will have to make if they’re going to oppose this bill.
Pro-lifers are often referred to as “extremists” by the other side. But, this bill spins that label right around on NARAL. It will be hard for the average Ohioan to accept that the extremists are the people who are defending children from being ripped apart. This will be some very heavy-lifting for the pro-abortion crowd. Their old cliches won’t likely work on this one.
Like the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which took effect in Ohio this March, SB 145 is part of the national strategy to end abortion. It is also written in a manner that addresses SCOTUS Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) which upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. Kennedy is a swing vote on abortion so his words in that decision are imperative.
“[F]riction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus…” He said, “No one would dispute that for many, D&E is a procedure itself laden with the power to devalue human life.”
You can send your State Senator a message of support in favor of SB 145 by clicking here.
Last night, Ohio Governor John Kasich gave his State of the State speech for 2017. We didn’t watch it. We’ve heard it all before and the Indians were on TV. However, somebody who wants Kasich’s job DID watch it, Congressman Jim Renacci.
Renacci wasn’t too impressed. He sent out a campaign email today that raised our eyebrows.
We heard last night that Ohio has made some progress in recent years and that we can look forward to an era when technological innovations change our daily lives.
The reality though is that far too many families and businesses across our state continue to struggle as Ohio faces its slowest job growth in nearly a decade. In fact, our leaders have recently cautioned that our state is on the verge of a recession.
This is why I’m running for Governor.
The governor and his team surely won’t like that one. Add Congressman Renacci to the ever-growing list of “bit players”. (We are all proud bit players here at 3BP). Unfortunately for Team Kasich, I suspect we’ll hear more of this kind of talk from the gubernatorial candidates from both parties.
Because Ohio’s job growth isn’t good. It has trailed the national average for years. John Kasich came into power in 2011 and shook up Ohio’s economic development agency, promising that privatizing it would give Ohio an advantage over other states and that superior job growth would follow. We were on board. Unfortunately, it hasn’t turned out that way at all, and it became obvious that Kasich’s governorship was just a stepping stone in his presidential campaign.
This is not an endorsement of Renacci, but as a long time business owner, he is unique among the expected Republican candidates. Time will tell if he and the others continue to run against Governor Kasich’s job record.
State Representative Christina Hagan, one of President Donald Trump’s most enthusiastic Ohio supporters during the campaign, has announced her intention to run for Congress in Ohio’s 16th Congressional District. The current Representative from the 16th, Jim Renacci, has announced his run for Governor which has created a flurry of speculation for who will be the next Congressman from the area.
Representative Hagan has made a name for herself not only in Northeast Ohio, but around the state. Hagan’s resume is full of notes that make her one of the more notable Representatives in Columbus. Hagan was appointed to her current seat in 2012, making her one of the youngest to serve in Ohio’s history. Hagan has also been on of the most prolific pro-life public servants in Ohio, as well as one of then Candidate Trump’s most energetic spokespeople on the Ohio campaign trail.
State Representative Christina Hagan
Hagan’s entrance in the 16th district’s race will soon be crowded by other contenders. Several other names have already been discussed, with each having as much, if not more name recognition than Hagan. Lt Governor Mary Taylor, although now currently in the beginnings of a gubernatorial race, is a popular name for the seat. Other names include State Representative Tom Patton, State Senator Frank LaRose (although LaRose is now campaigning for Secretary of State), Senate President Larry Obhof, Wayne County Commissioner and former State Representative Ron Amstutz, and even Cuyahoga County Chairman Rob Frost (the district runs clear into Cuyahoga county). At this point, it may be easier to discuss which politicians from in and around the district are not considering running for the seat.
2018 will have several competitive races, for Republicans at least. At this moment the Democrats’ shallow Ohio bench is embarrassingly apparent; no legitimate name has emerged as a contender for the 16th race. Beyond Northeast Ohio, the Democrats’s bench for statewide offices is just as poor; the best that has been able to step up for the Democrats include a recently defeated Congresswoman and a State Senator.
Ohio tea party leader and clown Tom Zawistowski is still at it. He still writes open letters to politicians as if he matters. He publishes them as if he has an iota of influence. He doesn’t.
He once promised that Governor John Kasich would lose reelection in 2014. He proceeded to recruit a number of laughable candidates to run against the governor. He said he had the organization to propel them to victory in the primary against Kasich. He couldn’t even get them on the ballot.
That year he also aimed to knock off a couple dozen other incumbents in that year’s primary. Once again, he bragged about the strength of his “organization”.
Can you feel the Panic in the Political Establishment???
Can you feel the change coming? Can you feel the power of the people surging? Can you sense the panic from the political establishment? Have you heard about Shannon Jones begging RINO Senate Leader Keith Faber for more money for mailings this week because she is afraid of Kelly Kohl’s? Have you heard about the poll in the 8th Congressional district that shows John Boehner below 50% in his race against J.D. Winteregg? Do you know that Union backed RINO Dave Joyce in NEOhio is only at 35% in the polls and fighting for his life against Matt Lynch?
Our “sweat equity” will beat their money…
He failed in spectacular fashion. He always does. No one in politics “panics” when Tom Z. opens his big mouth. They just laugh.
He promoted Lynch against Dave Joyce again in 2016. I’ll let you guess what the result was.
So here we are now, and just as I suspected would happen, President Donald Trump has stabbed conservatives in the back. The repeal of Obamacare couldn’t get enough votes. Instead of taking some of the responsibility for this failure (he said it would be easy and fast, remember?), he blamed everyone around him except himself. It’s what Trump does.
But then today, he actually called out the House Freedom Caucus by name in another one of his ill-advised tweets.
The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!
Poor Tom. He jumped on the Trump train during the primary and now Trump is stabbing him in the back.
So he penned one of his open letters to Trump. It’s pathetic.
Dear Mr. President,
We, the undersigned conservative leaders in the swing state of Ohio, voted for you and worked hard to bring others to the polls to elect you last November. We want to see you succeed in Making America Great Again! We appreciate much of what you have already done in the first few months of your administration.
However, we respectfully ask you to stand with our conservative heroes in the Freedom Caucus, along with other conservatives in the House and Senate. These patriots are working to keep the campaign promises that you–and they–made to us.
Please work with members of the Freedom Caucus, not against them, to ensure you are all successful in keeping your campaign promises and “draining the swamp.” Mr. President, we are praying for your success as you work to rebuild our nation.
Yes, Tom. That should do it. I’m sure Trump is reading your letter over and over again, undecided on what to do next. I bet he read your letter and is racked with guilt over his tweet.
Well, Trump did tweet later after Tom published his letter. Let’s see what he said.
Voters have given Republicans control of the House of Representatives, the Senate and now the White House. Frustration with Obamacare has helped propel Republicans into office as they promise to repeal the monstrosity of a bill that is burdensome on small businesses and the middle class.
Although Blackwell was a Domestic Policy Advisor for the Trump Transition Team, he is not in favor of the current bill as he doesn’t believe it addresses the biggest problems of Obamacare.
“Obamacare is falling apart on its own, thanks largely to the 10 essential benefits mandates that must be included in all insurance packages or face large penalties. These requirements range from maternity care to sex-change operations, regardless what the health care customer needs or wants. These mandates limit options and make insurance vastly more expensive, which is compounded by rules that mandate coverage for those currently sick or with preexisting conditions. Obamacare requires that these unhealthy people cannot be treated differently than anyone else, which results in healthier and younger people paying even higher premiums.
These bad issues with Obamacare are only compounded, as it incentives people to not buy insurance until they are sick, as the insurance companies have to sell them coverage at the same rate as if they were healthy. Imagine what the result would be if people could buy fire insurance while their house is on fire or extra car insurance after a serious crash. For insurance companies, that is not a sustainable business model.”
Blackwell praises the bill for removing the mandate for employers with more than 50 employees and the expansion of HSAs, but there is much more that should be done to revamp this very flawed system.
Blackwell believes true reform includes a full repeal of Obamacare and free market reform that focus more on individual choices rather than employer based insurance options.
“This is a reminder of what happens when government gets in the way of market solutions. If insurance companies had flexibility, people could buy coverage across state lines and only for the coverage they need. Those living in poverty could buy private insurance through vouchers, and high-risk pools could provide care for those with pre-existing conditions.
These types of market-based changes would accelerate improvements if employees could control insurance options, instead of their employers. The insurance tax deduction should shift away from businesses and instead be directed at individuals who can carefully decide what type of coverage they want and how much they wish to contribute to tax-free health savings accounts (HSAs).
Free-market reforms would put the individual healthcare consumer in a position where more options are available at a lower price. By making health care pricing more transparent and encouraging the expanded use HSAs, health care consumers can make better choices while competitive market mechanism drive prices down.”
Congressional Republicans voted for a full repeal of Obamacare more than once, but now they appear to be balking at doing the same under a Republican President.
I spoke at the most recent County Council meeting about my concerns regarding the Q renovation project. I wanted to follow up my comments to clarify the points I spoke to so there is a written record that every County Council member was made aware of this factual information so it can’t be dismissed.
I began my public comments addressing the absurdity of the belief that the Q is comparatively old and outdated and at 23 years old is at tail end of the life expectancy of an arena. This is illogical and ridiculous when you realize that the Q is one of 16 arenas in the NBA built in the 1990s, in addition to 20 NHL arenas built that decade. Besides a rare outlier, all of them expect to have a useful life of 50 years or more.
I then pointed out that almost all of these arenas built in the 1990s have recently or are in the planning stages of an extensive upgrade/renovation similar to the proposed Q renovation plan. However, the main purpose of my comments was to dispel this myth that the public contribution/financing aspect of this plan is a much better for the City and County taxpayers compared to the deals other cities have given their sports teams to renovate similarly aged arenas. This will show this is simply not true and in fact the opposite.
From the questions asked by Council Members, it seems the prevailing attitude is most don’t like that this renovation plan calls requires at least $121m in public funds on top of the $23m that was given to the Cavs in 2014 as part of the Sin Tax extension. However, it seemed that many on Council are resigned to support it because they haven’t questioned two of the following premises they have been told to believe…
This level of public subsidy is the price all cities pay to have the benefits of an NBA or NHL team and we should be thankful because the Q renovation deal currently in front of Council is a much more public friendly deal than most cities agree to for renovating similar aged arenas.
Without this renovation the Q cannot compete against newer arenas to land events costing us job, spending and tax revenue and if we don’t agree to this deal we risk the Cavs moving just like the Browns did in 1995.
Both of these statements are untrue, misleading and are easily discredited with the slightest of scrutiny, a little research and a few tough questions. This will provide objective facts and data to dispel “statement A” and a follow up in the next few days will dispel “statement B”. Once these two statements are dispelled and discredited, if anyone on Council still believes this plan deserves his vote and support I hope he has the courage to explain in writing to the public why he thinks this deal is in the best interests of the constituents.
Dispelling statement A
In an attempt to convince Council to approve this deal and justify its high dollar cost, all of you have been told that this level of public subsidy is the price all cities pay to have the benefits of an NBA or NHL team and we should be thankful because the Q renovation deal currently in front of Council is a much more public friendly deal than most cities agree to for renovating similar aged arenas. The following 7 examples show that this is simply not true.
The United Center in Chicago opened in 1994 which is the same year the Q opened. In the next few months they will complete a $100m six story 190,000 square foot addition adding new office space for both the Bulls and Blackhawks, a team shop and 15 bars and restaurants (Click here to read about this project). On top of that they are also spending another $100m to build a Bulls practice facility across the street and around the corner, a practice facilities for the Blackhawks with two ice rinks and will be used by the public 91% of the time (Click here to read about this project). Inside the arena area itself, they have made massive upgrades this decade with the addition and creation of the “300 level” which is a “renovated concourse with 144 flat screen televisions, new food and beverage stations above select seating sections and two new bars that open up to panoramic views of the arena”. All of these renovations, additions, upgrades and new practice facilities add up to an investment over $300m that has been completely privately funded by the team owners. This compares to the $144m in public subsidies provided to the Cavs if you add the $23m given to them in 2014 as part of the sin tax extension to the current deal requiring $121m in public funding.
When asked why there are many examples recently were a new arena or renovation went forward with little or no public funding, Cavs CEO Len Komoroski said that this only happens in larger markets and smaller markets require public funding for these projects. The following 6 examples show this is simply not true.
The NBA arena in Salt Lake City Utah opened in 1991 three year before the Q. Just a few months ago the owners of the Utah Jazz unveiled their $125m massive renovation which will begin at the end of this season. Click here to see the plans for this massive renovation. This renovation will provide a new glass exterior, larger entrances shield from weather, and larger concourses with more dining options like the proposed Q renovation. However, if you look at the plans you will see that this renovation provides much more including a massive outdoor large screen and stage for watch parties and concerts, completely renovating the private suites enlarging them by 30%, solar panels on the roof and a new $15m jumbotron.
Salt Lake City is the 33rd largest media market in the US compared to Cleveland which ranks at 18th. This seems to go against Mr. Komoroski’s statement that smaller market professional sports teams require more public subsidies in order to compete.
In total, $60m in public funds were provided for pay for the major upgrades to this arena in New Orleans. This compares to the $144m in public subsidies provided to the Cavs if you add the $23m given to them in 2014 as part of the sin tax extension to the current deal requiring $121m in public funding.
New Orleans is the 51st largest media market in the US compared to Cleveland which ranks at 18th. Once again this seems to go against Mr. Komoroski’s statement that smaller market professional sports teams require more public subsidies in order to compete.
It is important to note that this arena was originally owned by a public entity similar to Gateway but that entity went into bankruptcy in 2004. In 2007, the owner of the Portland Trailblazers eventually bought the arena out of bankruptcy in 2007 and has privately funded all upgrades, renovations and operation costs. This compares to the $144m in public subsidies provided to the Cavs if you add the $23m given to them in 2014 as part of the sin tax extension to the current deal requiring $121m in public funding.
Portland is a smaller market than Cleveland so once again, this seems to go against Mr. Komoroski’s statement that smaller market professional sports teams require more public subsidies in order to compete.
Since 2011 only $12.5m of $85m in arena upgrades came from public subsidies. This compares to the $144m in public subsidies provided to the Cavs if you add the $23m given to them in 2014 as part of the sin tax extension to the current deal requiring $121m in public funding.
Of the $60m in upgrades to Bridgestone Arena only $8m came from public subsidies. This compares to the $144m in public subsidies provided to the Cavs if you add the $23m given to them in 2014 as part of the sin tax extension to the current deal requiring $121m in public funding.
Nashville is the 29th largest media market in the US compared to Cleveland which ranks at 18th. Once again this seems to go against Mr. Komoroski’s statement that smaller market professional sports teams require more public subsidies in order to compete.
The only city committing near the amount of public subsidy to an arena renovation as the Cavs are asking for is the $142.5m Atlanta area taxpayers are providing the Atlanta Hawks to renovate Phillips Arena which opened in 1999. This compares to the $144m in public subsidies provided to the Cavs if you add the $23m given to them in 2014 as part of the sin tax extension to the current deal requiring $121m in public funding.
While I believe this is a terrible deal for the City of Atlanta, at least as part of the deal they negotiated an 18 year extension of the lease prohibiting the team from leaving Atlanta until 2046 vs the 7 year lease extension of the Cavs to 2034 in the current terms of the plan. Also, $110m of the $142m of public funds comes from an extension of a rental car tax and the rest is slated to come from the sale of Turner Field and no money comes from the general fund or a tax increase.
Everyone on Council has been told how public friendly the terms of this deal is compared to other City’s deals to help renovate an arena. These examples show this just isn’t true. However, in these public meetings you have been told that County Exec Budish, Mayor Jackson and Fred Nance spent months vigorously negotiating with the Cavs and their shrewd negotiations looking out for the public’s best interest yielded many large concessions and savings for the public from the Cavs.
Call me a skeptic but I have hard time believing that anyone was negotiating in the public’s interest when two years ago on February 26, 2015, Andrew Tobias posted an article with basically the exact same deal terms that are in the current deal, a spokeswoman for County Executive Armond Budish, said: “We are aware of a proposal from the Cavaliers organization, but it is only conceptual at this point. There have been no negotiations or decisions.” How can they claim they negotiated hard and how much are we paying Mr. Nance an hour to negotiate on our behalf when the result is no changes to the terms from two years ago before any negotiations began?
Dan Gilbert is a very smart guy, great businessman and a good owner. I am sure he is well aware of every public subsidies every NBA team has ever received for a renovation and knows the current terms are laughable compared to others. Like any good businessman he probably intentionally include some absurd terms at the negotiation starting point so that there will be a bunch of built in painless concessions he can easily agree to during negotiations. I can only imagine his disbelief when he realized there was no pushback.
We can also use objective facts and examples to dispel the myth you have been sold that without this renovation the Q cannot compete against newer arenas to land events and if we don’t agree to this deal we risk the Cavs moving just like the Browns did in 1995.
Third Base Politics first reported on the story about the Democrat Mayor of Stow Sara Kline and her husband, Robert Kline’s social media problems. Prior to our own story the disgusting tweets had been circulating through Stow and the surrounding communities for several days with no media outlet willing to report on the matter. Within hours of our story publishing, local news sources finally took notice. First the Akron Beacon-Journal ran a story on Thursday which was followed by a Channel 19 story on Friday night.
In the time since our original piece was published both Mayor Kline and Robert have made changes to their social media accounts. At first both changed their twitters to private, but then by Friday morning Robert’s twitter account had been deleted while the Mayor’s was still up but remained set to private. Mayor Kline has also deactivated her facebook account.
The Mayor originally defended her husband in a facebook post by stating that he had a right to his views because of the 1st amendment. Kline was forced to backtrack on these statements after other outlets began picking up the article; in a video message she then stated that she did not condone such rude language and that her family was working through how they would be using social media in the future. Mayor Kline has said that her husband apologized to their family for the hateful and vulgar tweets.
The Mayor’s words are all well and good, but it seems like both Klines have forgotten one thing: an apology to the community for this hateful language. The misogyny, vulgarity, and racism displayed in these tweets are not the sort of behavior that a public servant like Kline, who is a role model to young people in her community, should let standing. It is possible to very strongly disagree with President Trump without “R” rated language.